The Link Between Truck Driver Fatigue & Commercial Trucking Accidents

December 4, 2013

Truck Accidents

commercial truck driver fatigueMost truck drivers are under considerable pressure to arrive at their destination as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, some drivers choose to stay at the wheel for far too many hours in order to reach their destination on time. Without proper rest, drivers pose a significant safety risk to the public due to the role truck driver fatigue plays in commercial truck accidents.

How Driver Fatigue and Truck Accidents are Connected

According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, truck accidents are responsible for some 150,000 injuries and 5000 fatalities every year. About 800 occupants of large trucks are killed in these accidents each year, most of whom are the truck drivers themselves.

When truck drivers are pressured to spend an unsafe amount of time on the road in a given day or week, they start experiencing symptoms of fatigue that can directly impact their ability to drive safely. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that as many as 20,000 injuries and 750 deaths per year can be directly attributed to truck driver fatigue.

Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations Aimed and Driver Fatigue

Thankfully, there are federal regulations in place that limit how much time truck drivers can stay behind the wheel. These hours-of-service regulations are specifically designed to address truck driver fatigue by with legal requirements for drivers to get the rest they need in order to stay within the limits of the law and keep their commercial licenses.

As recently as July 2013, the Department of Transportation announced a new set of federal regulations that limit the total number of hours truckers can spend driving per week to 70 hours. This new limit is only believed to have an impact on about 15% of commercial truck drivers, as most fleets do not have shipping schedules requiring drivers to spend so much time behind the wheel.

Call our truck accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation!

When it comes to road safety, truck drivers and commercial fleet owners are held to a higher standard than other drivers due to the higher risk that their vehicles pose to the public. Truck drivers and commercial fleets who fail to meet safety standards when it comes to truck driver fatigue put everyone at risk.

If you or someone you know has been hurt by an irresponsible truck driver, a truck accident lawyer serving Sarasota may be able to help. Contact the injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 to get started.